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BILLS IN WEST VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE...UPDATED FEBRUARY 23, 1999

Below is a list of bills that have been introduced, thus far, in the West Virginia Legislature. The list includes whether it is a Senate (SB) or House (HB), the number, name(s) of sponsoring Legislator and date of introduction. Currently all listed bills are in their respective Judiciary Committees. Everyone is urged to visit the Legislature Homepage at "http://www.legis.state.wv.us/" and send email letters to members of the legislature urging passage of those bills you deem important.

HB 2053, Delegates Fleischauer, Doyle, Rowe, Pettit and Laird - Establishment of pilot supervised visitation programs by the Department of Health and Human Resources; January 13. Judiciary then to Finance Committee.

HB 2071, Delegate Webb - Relating to grandparent visitation when the parent's parental right is terminated due to a felony conviction; January 13. The purpose of this bill is to allow a grandparent to petition a circuit court for visitation rights to his or her grandchild when the child's parent's parental rights have been terminated because of a felony conviction.

HB 2144, Delegate Pettit - Admission into evidence in judicial proceedings held to determine custody of minor children of any criminal convictions for acts of violence or abuse toward children or family members; January 13. The purpose of this bill is to authorize the admission into evidence of a criminal conviction for abuse or violence against a family member in proceedings held to determine custodial rights of minor children.

HB 2199, Delegate Tucker - Relating to the definition of gross income when determining child support obligations; January 13. The purpose of this bill is eliminate overtime pay from the definition of gross income for CS obligations.

HB 2208, Delegates Harrison and Armstead - Covenant Marriage Act; January 14. The purpose of this bill is to establish the Covenant Marriage Act. Entering into a covenant marriage will be optional and the current form of marriage provided in state law will remain available. By definition, a covenant marriage is a mrriage entered into by one male and one female who understand and agree that the marriage between them is a lifelong relationship. Parties must have received counseling emphasizing nature and purposes of marriage and responsibilities thereto. For a complete copy of this bill email me and I will forward to you.

HB 2225, Delegate Warner - Requiring a divorced member to prove there is no qualified domestic relations order in effect as a condition to elect certain retirement annuity options; January 14. The purpose of this bill is to provide that a divorced member of the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System may elect any of the retirement options otherwise available if the member proves that the member is not bound by a qualified domestic relations order.

HB 2226, Delegate Webb - Including an appendix for an agreement of alternative child support arrangement; January 14. The purpose of this bill is to allow CS payments to be made direct to the custodial parent without utilizing wage withholding through DHHR.

HB 2227, Delegate Webb - Setting forth factors to be considered by courts in determining child custody in divorces; January 14. The purpose of this bill is to set forth what factors must be considered when determining cs in annulment, separation or divorce. Primary mission is mandating joint custody in all cases.

HB 2231, Delegate Webb - Legal services to be provided and available to noncustodial parent; January 14. The purpose of this bill is making available to ncp the same legal services, forms and advise that is currently available to cp.

HB 2240, Delegate Doyle - Uniform Premarital Agreement Act; January 14. The purpose of this bill is to enact the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. This Act allows parties to a marriage to contract prior to marriage with respect to property rights, actions to be taken upon dissolution of the marriage, rights to insurance proceeds upon death of either party, choice of controlling law and any other matters not in violation of criminal statutes or public policy. Child support cannot be adversely affected.

HB 2305, Speaker Kiss - Changing from fourteen years to eleven years the age at which a minor may approve the appointment of a legal guardian; January 19. Self-explanatory.

HB 2400, Delegates Webb and Faircloth - Removing the authority of the child advocate to collect alimony payments; January 26. The purpose of this bill is to remove authority resting with the child advocate to collect or otherwise seek to enforce the payment of alimony from one party to another.

HB 2598, Delegates Amores, Manuel and Beane - Mandating joint child custody as a preference in annulment, divorce or separation; February 2.

HB 2678, Delegates Amores, Doyle, Jenkins & Yeager - Adopting the Uniform Child custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act; February 8. Original same as SB 462.

HB 2717. Delegates Fleischauer, Laird, Pettit, Warner, Doyle, Mahan & Staton - Providing for child visitation centers to monitor child visitation; February 10.

HB 2794, Delegates Johnson, Capito, Hines, Pino, Webb & Willis (Originating in Judiciary) - Creating a family court system; February 16. To House Finance February 16.

SB 50, Senator Sharpe - Establishing offense of making intentional false child abuse reports; January 13.

SB 215, Senator Deem - Establishing maximum amount of alimony or separate maintenance; January 26. The purpose of this bill is to establish a maximum amount of alimony or separate maintenance that a court may award against a party, expressed in terms of a certain percentage of the payor's income, to amend the definition of income and to specify certain factors or conditions that a court must take into consideration in awarding alimony or separate maintenance.

SB 239, Senators Deem, Ross, Minear and Kessler - Terminating court-ordered alimony upon remarriage or cohabitation of receiving party; January 27. The purpose of this bill is to terminte the payment of court ordered alimony upon the remarriage of the party receiving the alimony or when that part cohabits with another person for a period of at least two years.

SB 367, Senators Snyder, Minear and Mitchell - Mandating joint child custody during annulment, divorce or separation; January 29. This bill is similar to HB 2227 and HB 2598 except this includes "primary caregiver" as consideration, which we do not feel should be applicable.

SB 441, Senator Wooten - Changing age minor may approve appointment of legal guardian; February 5. This bill changes from fourteen years to eleven years the age at which a minor may approve the appointment of a legal guardian.

SB 451, Senators Minard, Anderson, Bowman, Schoonover & Deem - Creating Uniform Premarital Agreement Act; February 5. Interstate Cooperation then Judiciary Committee. Original same as HB 2240. The purpose of this bell is to enact the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. This Act allows parties to a marriage to contract prior to marriage with respect to property rights, actions to be taken upon dissolution of the marriage, rights to insurance proceeds upon death of either party, choice of controlling law and any other matters not in violation of criminal statutes or public policy. Child support cannot be adversely affected.

SB 495, Senators Bailey, Boley, Love, Sprouse & Deem - Eliminating interest from judgments or decrees entered in divorce cases; February 10.

SB 518, Senator Bailey, Limit income to be considered in basic child support obligation; February 12. The purpose of this bill is to limit to $120,000 the amount of a parent's adjusted gross income to be considered in arriving at the basic child support obligation.

SB 542, Senator Boley - Basing child support and alimony on a forty-hour workweek; February 16.

SB 543, Senator Boley - Providing accountability for child support payments; February 16. This bill adds a section (17) to the WV code relating to accountability for child support payments; income share formula applied for both custodial and noncustodial parents; establishment of checking account in child's name; oversight; and authoritiy for proposed rules for legislative promulgation.

SB 546, Senator Boley - Modification of visitation schedules for noncustodial parents; February 16. This bill adds language stating "Unless the court deems that such visitation would not be in the best interests of the child, all visitation schedules shall provide for the noncustodial parent to have visitation every other weekend, on the Sunday of the off-weekend between visitation weekends, and for the entire summer vacation from regular school. The custodial parent shall have visitation every other weekend during the summer vacation, on the Sunday of the off-weekend between visitation weekends during the summer vacation, and for an uninterrupted two-week period during the summer vacation."

SB 547, Senator Boley - Prohibiting certain retroactive child support; February 16. This bill relates to prohibiting retroactive child support when paternity has not been established withiin one year of the child's birth; expenses for establishment of paternity under certain circumstances; and requiring applications for establishment of paternity to be acted upon with sixty days.

I have the full text of the Covenant Marriage Act (HB 2208); if interested in seeing this, email me and I will forward a copy to you. This bill allows conversion of marriage(s) under current law to a covenant marriage and outlines grounds for divorce.

I have requested the hard copy of HB 2794 relating to the establishment of a family court system. In the interim I have the newspaper article which explains what the intent of this bill is. Anyone desiring to see this, email me and I will forward to you.

There is a rally being proposed for the capitol on March 1, 1999 to lobby for passage of these very important bills. The coordinator of this effort is Ginger Thompson, head of the West Virginia Alliance For Two Parents (WVAFTP). The intent of this rally, as I understand it, is to lobby these delegates/senators that, seemingly, hold our lives and our children's futures in their hands (or their votes as the case may be!). Anyone desiring to attend or wanting more information, please contact Ginger at WVAFTP@aol.com.


Joseph Cumblidge

wvugo@msn.com
RR2 Box 196C
Proctor, WV 26055
ICQ #6987746



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